Scottish independence: Why Boris Johnson might not be the best person to explain the rise in support – Scotsman comment

So just what could be behind the apparent surge in support for Scottish independence?

Boris Johnson has made clear he wants Scotland to stay in the Union (Picture: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

‘Surge’ may be a little strong but a new survey by IpsosMori has found that 55 per cent would vote for independence to 45 against – once the undecideds are excluded – in a return to the poll numbers that gave hope to nationalists last year.

It could be a statistical blip after several months in which the Union seemed to have re-established its lead, but both sides will be eager to see if the result is confirmed by other surveys and, if so, to investigate the reasons why.

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Perhaps prematurely, The Scotsman has been scratching its head trying to help, but for the life of us we’ve been struggling to work out what it could possibly be.

We did think about asking Boris Johnson, given he is the Prime Minister and one who has made it clear that maintaining the Union is one of his top priorities.

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But then we thought better of it. After all, running the country is a big job – perhaps the biggest of all – and he’s a very busy man with many serious and weighty issues on his mind.

Recently he has been busy failing to deny holding a “cheek by jowl” Christmas party in Downing Street during lockdown last year; performing a humiliating U-turn over MPs’ second-jobs; and giving a bizarre speech about the wonders of Peppa Pig World to decidedly unimpressed business leaders.

So maybe, just maybe, Johnson might not be the best person to ask about the reason…

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